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Description
As cancer evolves from a terminal illness to a curative and chronic medical condition, there has been a shift in approach to oncology care. Improved survival rates have led to a recognition that cancer care involves more than the traditional modalities of radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. Supportive measures that address the overall needs of the patient are now emphasized. Effects from the diagnosis of cancer and its treatment can cause significant cognitive, physical, and psychological impairments leading to decreased dignity, functionality, independence, and quality of life. Physiatry can serve an important role in addressing the needs of the cancer survivor. However, as the field of cancer rehabilitation continues to evolve, there has been a legitimate debate regarding the need for specialization. The purpose of this didactic session is to discuss issues surrounding cancer rehabilitation care, from the perspective of a general and oncology physiatrist in an actively moderated debate. Specific discussion points will include patient access to skilled rehabilitation providers, availability of physiatrists in the community, resource availability and needs for rehabilitation and cancer centers, regulatory considerations related to cancer diagnoses, and innovative models for survivorship care. Attendees can then integrate the evidence and discussion points presented into their clinical environments to determine the most efficient method for cancer rehabilitation delivery.
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